Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 229

Posts Tagged ‘migration’

Migration: Parliament rejects using EU funds for “controlled centres”

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 30 marzo 2019

Plenary backed two objections to Commission delegated acts that widen the scope of activities eligible for funding under two EU funds to include “controlled centres” established by member states. According to the Commission proposal, this would allow to better adapt to the needs of national authorities in the field of asylum, migration and integration, particularly for reception and accommodation for asylum-seekers or migrants in irregular situation.In their objections, MEPs underline that the concept of “controlled centres” is a controversial one “of questionable legality” which does not exist under Union law and has not been approved by the colegislators.They insist that such a concept should not be funded “unless and until it is properly defined in an appropriate legislative instrument -adopted by the colegislators- detailing its legal basis, nature, purpose and objective”.The European Commission tabled the delegated acts in December. The first one amends the regulation establishing the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa (part of the Internal Security Fund), while the second one modifies the regulation establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.The objections were passed with 493 to 87 and 34 abstentions (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund) and by show of hands (Internal Security Fund). The legal changes proposed by the Commission can therefore not enter into force.

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Migration: MEPs object to the use of EU funds for “controlled centres”

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 16 marzo 2019

Civil Liberties MEPs rejected on Monday providing EU funds to member states for the provision of services in “controlled centres” for migrants.The Committee approved two objections to Commission delegated acts that, with the aim of responding to additional needs from national authorities in the field of asylum, migration and integration, particularly for reception and accommodation for asylum-seekers or migrants in irregular situation, widens the scope of activities eligible for funding under two EU funds to include “controlled centres” established by member states.MEPs underline that the concept of “controlled centres” is a controversial one “of questionable legality” which does not exist under Union law and has not been approved by the colegislators.They insist that such a concept should not be funded “unless and until it is properly defined in an appropriate legislative instrument -adopted by the colegislators- detailing its legal basis, nature, purpose and objective”.The European Commission tabled the delegated acts in December. The first one amends the regulation establishing the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa (part of the Internal Security Fund), while the second one modifies the regulation establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.The Civil Liberties Committee backed both objections with 44 votes to 8. If the objections are endorsed by the whole Parliament, the legal changes will not enter into force. To be adopted, objections to delegated acts need the backing of a majority of the MEPs. The vote in plenary is scheduled to take place during the March II session (25-28 March).

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Global compacts on migration and refugees: MEPs to discuss follow-up

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 1 marzo 2019

MEPs of the Civil Liberties and Development Committees and the Subcommittee on Human Rights will exchange views, also with representatives of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on the best way to continue the process initiated back in 2016.The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2016, marked the beginning of multilateral negotiations for the adoption of two non-binding global compacts on refugees -with the objective of a fairer sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting refugees worldwide- and migration, aimed at ensuring adequate treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations.The Global Compact on refugees was affirmed by the member states of the UN General Assembly on 17 December 2018 in the annual resolution on the work of UNHCR. The Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration was endorsed by the General Assembly on 19 December, with 152 votes in favour, 5 against (Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Poland, United States) and 12 abstentions (including Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia and Romania). Among EU Member States, Slovakia did not register its vote.

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Migration and asylum: EU funds to promote integration and protect borders

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 febbraio 2019

MEPs backed on Tuesday increasing the EU budget for migration and asylum policies and to reinforce borders.The Civil Liberties Committee endorsed the renewed Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), the 2021-2027 budget of which will increase up to €9.2 billion (€10.41 billion in current prices, 51% more than in the previous financial framework). It also backed the creation of a new Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF) and agreed to allocate €7.1 billion (€8 billion in current prices) to it.The AMIF should contribute to strengthen the common asylum policy, develop legal migration, in line with the member states’ economic and social needs, contribute to countering irregular migration and ensure effective, safe and dignified return, readmission and reintegration in non-EU countries.But it should also ensure “solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility between the member states, in particular towards those most affected by migration challenges, including through practical cooperation”, MEPs state.MEPs also want to make sure that funds can be allocated to local and regional authorities, and to international and non‑governmental organisations, working in the field of asylum and migration.
IBMF will provide funding to build and enhance member states’ capacities in border management and visa policy. The funding dedicated to member states (60 % of the total envelope) will reflect their needs and take into account additional pressures. Furthermore, a new EU thematic facility (40% of the total envelope) will ensure flexibility to channel emergency funding to member states and EU-level projects when urgent action is needed.
MEPs also added safeguards to ensure that actions and measures funded through the Instrument comply with the EU’s fundamental rights obligations, in particular with the principles of non-discrimination and non-refoulement. (COMP 3) Both funds will operate in full synergy. They will also work closely with the reinforced Internal Security Fund (ISF) focusing on tackling terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime.
The draft proposal on the renewed AMIF passed with 40 votes to 7 and 6 abstentions. The new IBMF was backed by 41 MEPs, 9 voted against and 2 abstained. The full House will have to confirm its position in the first March plenary, ahead of the negotiations with the Council of the EU.

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MEPs strongly welcome the Global Compact on Migration

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 dicembre 2018

The European Parliament strongly supports the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and welcomes its adoption in Marrakesh, Morocco on Monday.MEPs regret the campaign of disinformation that has led to several countries withdrawing their support from the compact. The migration compact is a non-legally binding framework that does not create new obligations for states and is in full respect of the principle of national sovereignty.The global compact adopted at the intergovernmental conference in Marrakesh is the first global multilateral framework to enhance international coordination on human mobility covering all aspects of the migration cycle. It is based on the principles of partnership, shared responsibility and the understanding that no country can address the challenges and opportunities of this phenomenon on its own. The Parliament believes that it is central to find long-term solutions to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement. Implementation of the compact therefore must go hand-in-hand with implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda as set out in the Strategic Development Goals, as well as ensuring increased investment in developing countries.The European Parliament strongly believes that international cooperation on migration must be people-centered and rights-based. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which celebrates its 70th anniversary today – must be at the core of migration governance alongside existing international law obligations, such as the Refugee Convention. Vulnerable groups and to people in vulnerable situations, notably migrant children and unaccompanied and separated children, should get special attention. Complying with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and ensuring the best interest of the child must be the primary considerations of all decisions and actions concerning them. Promoting gender equality and women empowerment should be central to GCM, as should be paying special attention to victims of violence and abuse, including sexual or gender-based violence, and of human trafficking.The European Parliament stresses that is its absolutely essential to turn the compact’s commitments into reality, with strong follow-up and review mechanisms, including the International Migration Review Forum which is to take place every four years beginning in 2021. The implementation process of the global compact must be transparent and inclusive, involving all stakeholders, and notably parliaments and national human rights institutions. A strengthened parliamentary dimension and public engagement are key to ensure accountability and serve as a bridge towards a broader dialogue on migration that leads to evidence-based policies and political narratives that counteract xenophobia and recognise the need for international cooperation on migration to ensure the benefit of all parties involved.

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MEPs to attend UN conference on migration in Morocco

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 9 dicembre 2018

Marrakech, Morocco, on 10-11 December 2018 conference on migration. A European Parliament delegation participates in the UN intergovernmental conference on migration. The delegation, led by Linda McAvan (S&D, UK), will represent the position of the European Parliament at the conference to adopt the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. From the outset, the Parliament has supported the goals of the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and the related process as a unique opportunity to establish a global governance regime and to enhance coordination on international migration.
The resolution on 18 April 2018 insists that the compact for migration “should be people-centred and human rights-based, and should provide for long-term, sustainable and comprehensive measures, for the benefit of all parties involved, building on the principle of partnership and strengthened cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination”. It should protect the most vulnerable (women and children, unaccompanied minors), prevent human rights abuses, and be based on partnership with a broad range of stakeholders, the Parliament stated.The members of the EP delegation are the following:
Linda McAvan (S&D, UK), chair of the development committee and of the EP delegation
Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT), chair of the human rights committee
Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, SE), civil liberties committee
Željana Zovko (EPP, HR), development and foreign affairs committees
Cécile Kyenge (S&D, IT), civil liberties and development committees
Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES), foreign affairs and human rights committees
Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL), civil liberties and development committees
Laura Ferrara (EFDD, IT), civil liberties and human rights committees
Udo Voigt (NI, DE), civil liberties committee
“The Global Compact that will be agreed next week is an important step towards creating an international system to better manage migration and cut the amount of people migrating via dangerous, illegal routes. Whilst a number of EU countries are shamefully refusing to sign the voluntary Compact, the European Parliament’s presence in Marrakesh is a symbol of the EU’s strong support of the UN process,”, said Linda McAvan (S&D, UK) before the delegation left for Marrakesh.

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Global compact for migration

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 15 novembre 2018

It is the first, intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. There are over 258 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth. This figure is expected to grow for a number of reasons including population growth, increasing connectivity, trade, rising inequality, demographic imbalances and climate change. Migration provides immense opportunity and benefits – for the migrants, host communities and communities of origin. However, when poorly regulated it can create significant challenges. These challenges include overwhelming social infrastructures with the unexpected arrival of large numbers of people and the deaths of migrants undertaking dangerous journeys.In September 2016 the General Assembly decided, through the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, to develop a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.The process to develop this global compact started in April 2017. The pages in this section detail 18 months of consultation and negotiation, and provide the relevant documentation for each of the events.On 13 July 2018 UN Member States finalized the text for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Text available in all official languages).The Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will be held on 10 – 11 December in Marrakech, Morocco.
The Global Compact for Migration is the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. The global compact is non-legally binding. It is grounded in values of state sovereignty, responsibility-sharing, non-discrimination, and human rights, and recognizes that a cooperative approach is needed to optimize the overall benefits of migration, while addressing its risks and challenges for individuals and communities in countries of origin, transit and destination.The global compact comprises 23 objectives for better managing migration at local, national, regional and global levels. The compact:aims to mitigate the adverse drivers and structural factors that hinder people from building and maintaining sustainable livelihoods in their countries of origin;
intends to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities migrants face at different stages of migration by respecting, protecting and fulfilling their human rights and providing them with care and assistance;seeks to address the legitimate concerns of states and communities, while recognizing that societies are undergoing demographic, economic, social and environmental changes at different scales that may have implications for and result from migration;
strives to create conducive conditions that enable all migrants to enrich our societies through their human, economic and social capacities, and thus facilitate their contributions to sustainable development at the local, national, regional and global levels.

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Austrian decision not to sign migration framework ‘harmful’ says Caritas

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 5 novembre 2018

Caritas Internationalis says the Austrian decision to pull out of the UN Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration risks destabilizing international efforts at providing coordination in protecting the lives of migrants and refugees. It comes after the USA and Hungary pulled out. The Global Compact on Migration offers a framework to governments to improve their response to the mass movements of people and to reduce the suffering of millions. It is due to be signed at the Intergovernmental Conference in Morocco on the 10 and 11 of December.It’s a legally non-binding agreement, that respects the sovereignty of states to manage their borders and acknowledges that migration is a global phenomenon that cannot be handled by a single state alone.“The Global Compact on Migration represents the policies needed to welcome, protect and integrate migrants,” says Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. “It is a sign of hope that the international community recognizes human mobility as a feature of our times and wants to make it positive for migrants, countries of origin and countries of destination.“Caritas witnesses every day the suffering, exploitation and exclusion of migrants. The migration compact strikes a fine balance between upholding their rights and the right of every country to protect its borders.”Caritas organisations work with and for migrants and builds bridges with the receiving societies in order to support a fair integration which takes into account the needs of migrants as well as the needs of receiving societies. (Patrick Nicholson – Director of Communications)

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Migration: After the Aquarius

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 19 settembre 2018

Lyon, France As European Union leaders prepare to address the topic of migration this week at an informal meeting in Salzburg, Euronews will update its viewers on the lives of some of the 630 migrants who were at sea aboard the Aquarius, the rescue ship that became the symbol of the EU migration debate this summer.In June, Euronews correspondent Anelise Borges spent 10 days on board the Aquarius, a rescue vessel operated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS Méditerranée. The only television journalist on board, she filmed around the clock, using only an iPhone, to capture the story of the men, women and children who risked everything to reach Europe. Her reporting became an essential source for other media outlets covering the migration issue, and a 52-minute documentary about the voyage aired in July.This week she caught up with some of the people who disembarked from the Aquarius in Valencia, after Spain put itself forward and agreed to accept the ship and its migrants.The migrants aboard the ship all had different scars; some fled conflict, others horrifying circumstances caused by grinding poverty. They all now face a new reality that will not necessarily measure up to their dreams.Anelise tells their stories in three reports, which will air this week on Euronews’ new daily political show Raw Politics. The first, on Tuesday 18 September, features Reward, a Nigerian man who left his home three years ago in search of a better future. Reward lives in Bilbao now, where he is waiting out the review of his application for asylum. He has a place to live, and money for food and clothing, but too much free time to think about his harrowing journey here, and the death of his best friend in a Libyan jail.Asked whether he thought his dream of becoming a pilot was any closer to reality now, he responded, “It might happen. I don’t know.” Raw Politics is broadcast from the European Parliament every week night on Euronews from 6pm CEST/ 5pm BST. Raw Politics’ aim is to tell Europe’s story from all sides, with a commitment to true impartiality. It poses hard-hitting questions on the issues that define and divide Europe through impactful interviews, passionate debates and original journalism from Euronews correspondents.
Euronews is the number one European news channel, reaching more viewers in continental Europe than any of its rivals. It is also the most-watched international news channel with 52 million TV viewers and digital consumers worldwide.

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Churches call for safe passage following EU summit

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 29 giugno 2018

Churches in Europe have reacted with disappointment to the outcomes of yesterday’s European Union summit mainly addressing migration. General Secretary elect of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), Torsten Moritz, criticised the conclusions of the European Council held on 28 June in Brussels. “Once again the summit has missed the chance to discuss how the arrival and integration of refugees can be a success for all and instead discussed illusionary plans about keeping people out.” CCME also expressed dissatisfaction with the consideration of “regional disembarkation platforms” in third countries, an idea referred to as “camps in Africa” that has been reappearing for well over a decade since the United Kingdom government and German Federal Minister of the Interior first mentioned it. The EU has not resolved any of the legal, practical, and moral issues relating to this since then. At worst, this will lead to something resembling a “refugee Guantanamo” at EU external borders and destabilise host countries. At best, there will be no impact at all.“If the EU wants to support refugee protection in the regions of origin or transit,” Moritz continued, “it could support the many existing camps, for example in Jordan or Uganda, which are already notoriously overcrowded and underfunded.” He also expressed scepticism toward proposed “controlled centres” inside the EU. “It is unclear what these controlled centres are supposed to look like. If they involve locking people up just because they ask for asylum, they are in breach of European and international law. If we are looking at relocation from these centres, we certainly will need to consider the very sobering experiences made with the so-called “hotspots” that were intended to facilitate relocation in the last years.”Resources for border security and combatting irregular migration will not resolve social and political problems. Imbalances will only grow if countries at EU external borders are made solely responsible for asylum procedures and removal of those not accorded protection.
“We agree that some people will have to return at the end of a full and just procedure,” Moritz noted. “One should not, however, for ideological reasons ignore all the legal, practical, and moral obstacles that make it impossible to return many of those without a residence permit in the EU.”The EU should examine where it is contributing to reasons why people flee, including through unjust trade, failure to address climate change, arms exports, and other policies.
The Conference of European Churches also expresses concern with the outcomes of the summit and its proposed focus of future EU funding on irregular migration and the target of increasing returns. CEC General Secretary Heikki Huttunen stressed the need for an alternative strategy. “When we ask for safe passage, we ask for a system of safe and regular access to Europe for those in need of protection, and for labour migrants. This is the strategy we must pursue to reduce irregular migration and deaths at the border.”All stakeholders must uphold the system of both state-run and civil society sponsored search and rescue. Directing financial resources toward this, as well as into better arrival and reception structures would help to make migration a success for all and avoid further building the fortress Europe.Churches throughout Europe have echoed these concerns. Kerk in Actie, along with 19 civil society organisations in the Netherlands, called on their national government for “moral leadership in treating asylum.” Similarly, the president of Diaconia Germany, Ulrich Lilie, noted “We cannot refuse to grant asylum to those most in need if Europe is to remain a Europe of human rights.”

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European Agenda on Migration Why a new European Agenda on Migration?

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 16 maggio 2018

The EU’s external borders have increasingly been the scene of human tragedies to which the EU, together with its Member States, must take immediate action. At the same time, migration needs to be better managed in all its aspects; through this new Agenda, the EU aims at providing its Member States with tools to do so in the medium as well as long term.Migration management is a shared responsibility, not only among EU Member States, but also vis-à-vis non-EU countries of transit and origin of migrants. By combining both internal and external policies, the Agenda provides a new, comprehensive approach grounded in mutual trust and solidarity among EU Member States and institutions.The European Agenda on MigrationSearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN••• responds to the priorities identified in the Political Guidelines of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.The EU aims at taking immediate action to prevent further losses of migrants’ lives at sea by providing additional funding to Frontex joint search and rescue operations, to the safe and legal resettlement of people to Europe, to the Regional Protection and Development Programmes and to the most affected Member States located at the EU’s external borders. In addition, the EU aims to strengthen the role of Europol as an intelligence hub for dismantling criminal networks and intends to launch Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations in the Mediterranean to capture and dismantle boats. The EU will also activate the emergency system provided in the Treaties so that asylum seekers may be relocated in a more solidary manner, as well as establish a pilot multi-purpose centre in Niger, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration and the UN Refugee Agency. An altogether new concept, the Hotspot, will allow EASO, Frontex and Europol to work on the ground in affected EU Member States to swiftly identify, register and fingerprint arriving migrants and to assist in investigating and dismantling migrant smuggling networks.Migration is both an opportunity and a challenge for the EU. The medium to long term priorities consist of developing structural actions that look beyond crises and emergencies and help EU Member States to better manage all aspects of migration. The Agenda is built upon four pillars:Reducing the incentives for irregular migration: the focus is on addressing the root causes behind irregular migration in non-EU countries, dismantling smuggling and trafficking networks and defining actions for the better application of return policies.
Saving lives and securing the external borders: this involves better management of the external border, in particular through solidarity towards those Member States that are located at the external borders, and improving the efficiency of border crossings.
Strengthening the common asylum policy: with the increases in the flows of asylum seekers, the EU’s asylum policies need to be based on solidarity towards those needing international protection as well as among the EU Member States, whose full application of the common rules must be ensured through systematic monitoring.
Developing a new policy on legal migration: in view of the future demographic challenges the EU is facing, the new policy needs to focus on attracting workers that the EU economy needs, particularly by facilitating entry and the recognition of qualifications.

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EU must take a leading role in global migration talks, EP says

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 21 aprile 2018

The European Parliament adopted on Wednesday a resolution backing the process initiated in 2016 during the UN General Assembly and its objectives of “developing a global governance regime for enhancing coordination on international migration, human mobility and large movements of refugees”. MEPs call for durable solutions and the protection of human rights. The non-legislative resolution -approved with 516 votes to 137 with 43 abstentions- notes that human mobility and migration is a growing reality, with approximately 258 million international migrants worldwide, while the number of people living in forced displacement reached 65 million in 2015. MEPs underline that the biggest share of the world’s refugees (up to 84%) are hosted by developing countries, and roughly 10% are in Europe. Protecting the children in migration should be a paramount objective of the global compacts, according to MEPs. “All children, irrespective of their migration or refugee status, are first and foremost children”, says the text, welcoming the commitments included in the drafts regarding the end of child detention, action concerning missing minors, supporting family reunification and ensuring access to the education and health systems. Parliament defends a more equitable sharing of responsibility for hosting and supporting refugees globally, suggesting the adoption of a global mechanism to ensure a fairer distribution. Resettlement is a key element in this regard, say MEPs, who call on the EU countries “to do their part and to step up their commitment”. The resolution also insists on the development of safe and legal avenues for refugees (such as humanitarian corridors, humanitarian visas and private sponsorship) and migrants, taking into consideration labour market needs, to prevent smuggling, abuses and loss of lives. Humanitarian assistance should not be criminalised, notes the Chamber. It calls for greater search and rescue capacities for people in distress, and for the “support provided by NGOs in carrying out rescue operations at sea and on land to be acknowledged”. After emphasizing that, despite challenges, migration is beneficial for both migrants and host communities, in economic and social terms, MEPs advocate a positive narrative on migrations and call for EU and international campaigns to draw attention to evidence and counteract racist and xenophobic tendencies in our societies.

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Mediterranean migration route: help for Italy and long-term solutions

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 luglio 2017

mediterraneoTo avoid migrants continuing to drown while trying to reach Italy, EU countries must offer their help, say MEPs. The Civil Liberties Committee held on Wednesday a hearing on search-and-rescue operations, the relations between the different actors including EU military vessels, Frontex staff and NGOs, the need to fight people smugglers as well as cooperation with Libyan authorities.Italian Coast Guard Captain Sandro Gallinelli, Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri, as well as representatives of Doctors without Borders and Human Rights Watch presented the committee with their views.NGOs’ role, cooperation with Libya, long-term solutions. Most MEPs in the debate defended the work of NGOs from criticism that their presence and rescue interventions are encouraging perilous journeys and even supporting human traffickers. Nevertheless, some MEPs also agreed that a code of conduct is needed to create order in operations at sea.Many voiced doubts about the cooperation with Libya, pointing to the political instability in the country, the unreliability of its authorities and the heightened risk of abuse and violence faced by migrants who are returned to its shores. Finally, most MEPs considered that a longer-term solution is needed, via a well-functioning asylum system, based on fair burden-sharing by all member states, combined with legal ways for migrating to the EU as well as a strategy to address the root causes of migration in the countries of origin. Italy is the main EU arrival point for migrants and asylum-seekers since the closure of the Balkans route and the EU-Turkey deal. In the first six months of 2017, already over 85 000 people arrived on its shores, an increase of almost 10% compared to the same period last year.According to UNHCR data, 2 253 persons have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea between 1 of January and 30 of June, almost all of them (2 171) in the Central.

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Mediterranean migration route: MEPs discuss how to curb an escalating death toll

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 luglio 2017

mediterraneoBruxelles. Measures to curb the number of migrants drowning when heading for Italy across the Mediterranean will be the focus of a hearing in the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday.Search-and-rescue operations, the relations between different actors in the region (e.g. EU military vessels, Frontex staff and NGOs), the need to fight people smugglers, and cooperation with the Libyan authorities will be some of the issues for discussion.
The Italian government recently urged the EU and other member states to help with the increasing influx of migrants and hinted that it may ban non-Italian NGO rescue ships from entering Italian ports. The European Commission asked the Italian authorities to draft a code of conduct for NGOs carrying out search-and-rescue operations.Among the speakers invited are two senior officers of the Italian Coast Guard, Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri, as well as representatives of Doctors without Borders and Human Rights Watch.Italy is the main EU arrival point for migrants and asylum-seekers since the closure of the Balkans route and the EU-Turkey deal. In the first six months of 2017, already over 85 000 people have arrived at its shores, an increase of almost 10% compared to the same period last year.According to UNHCR data, 2 253 persons have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea between 1 of January and 30 of June, almost all of them (2 171) in the Central Mediterranean route to Italy.Under the two emergency relocation decisions adopted in 2015, 34 953 asylum-seekers likely to be granted refugee status should be transferred from Italy to other EU countries, but so far only 7 615 have been moved (as of 10 July).

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European public opinion and the EU following the peak of the migration crisis/Les opinions publiques européennes et l’UE après le pic de la crise migratoire

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 9 luglio 2017

European public opinionAt the end of 2015, the difficult rise of favourable attitudes to the EU suddenly stopped, along with the development of a major migration crisis. How have these attitudes changed since then? What is the state of the public opinion one year on? What are the attitudes of citizens in European countries with regard to immigration?In this Policy Paper, Daniel Debomy, director of OPTEM and Alain Tripier, director of Sereho, start by providing an overview of opinion on the European Union in its various member states, analysing the results of the European Commission’s Eurobarometer surveys, in addition to some aspects based on data from the European Parliament’s Parlemeter surveys.Analysis of opinion in the different countries confirms the observation of a great disparity within the EU; however, a majority of citizens are not breaking away from the European project even if they are increasingly expressing dissatisfaction and concern.As the peak of the migration crisis passed, despite a decline in 2016, immigration clearly remains the most important concern for the EU in citizens’ opinion, and a problem for their country amid other economic and social concerns. The analysis conducted on these points does, however, highlight highly contrasting attitudes.
À la fin de l’année 2015, la difficile remontée, après la crise économique, des attitudes favorables à l’UE avait connu un coup d’arrêt, en parallèle du développement d’une crise migratoire de grande ampleur. Comment ces attitudes ont-elle évolué depuis lors et quel est leur état un an plus tard? Quelles sont les attitudes des citoyens des pays européens à l’égard de l’immigration? Dans ce Policy Paper, Daniel Debomy, directeur d’OPTEM et Alain Tripier, directeur de Sereho, font d’abord le point sur l’état de l’opinion à l’égard de l’Union européenne dans les différents États membres, en analysant des résultats fournis par les enquêtes Eurobaromètre de la Commission européenne, complétés sur certains aspects par celles du Parlemètre du Parlement européen. Les analyses de l’opinion dans les différents pays confirment le constat d’une grande disparité au sein de l’UE ; néanmoins, dans leur majorité, les citoyens ne rompent pas avec le projet européen même s’ils expriment de façon croissante insatisfactions et inquiétudes.Le pic de crise migratoire passé, malgré un certain repli en 2016, l’immigration reste clairement le problème le plus important pour l’UE aux yeux des citoyens, et un problème pour leur pays au milieu d’autres préoccupations de nature économique et sociale. Les analyses effectuées sur ces sujets mettent toutefois en évidence des attitudes très contrastées. (Photo: European public opinion)

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Migration: MEPs to assess deal with Turkey and situation in the Western Balkans

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 28 aprile 2017

turchiaCivil Liberties MEPs will assess this afternoon with the European Commission the results of the deal concluded with Turkey one year ago to better manage the refugee and migration flows, as well as the situation in the Western Balkan route. The debate will take place from 16.00 to 18.00.Mr Maarten Verwey, appointed by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to coordinate the implementation of the deal, will present the fifth progress report on the cooperation with Ankara since the signature of the EU-Turkey statement, on 18 March 2016.
The Commission will also report to the Committee on the financial aid provided so far to the country for assisting refugees. Through the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, the EU committed at the end of 2015 to mobilise 3 billion euro for the period 2016-2017 to assist Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers in the country (1 billion from the EU budget, 2 billion from Member States).According to Commission´s data, by the end of February 2017, 2.2 billion had already been allocated, with half of the financial envelope already contracted (1.5 billion) and 750 million effectively disbursed.MEPs will also be presented with an assessment on the provision of emergency support within the Union, exceptionally activated to provide assistance in those member states more affected by the influx of refugees and migrants. The Commission will release up to €700 million for the period 2016 to 2019 to fund emergency support.Finally, representatives of the Commission will update the committee on the situation in the Western Balkan migration route, following its intended closure in March last year.

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Migration and asylum: Civil Liberties MEPs to visit Italy

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 19 aprile 2017

siciliaA Civil Liberties Committee delegation will travel to Rome and Sicily, from 18 to 21 April, to look into Italian authorities’ management of migrants and asylum seekers. MEPs will inter alia visit the reception centre Castelnuovo di Porto, the harbour in Augusta (landing site for a vast number of migrants in Italy) as well as the refugee “hotspot” in Pozzallo. The main purpose of the visit is to deepen the members’ understanding of the functioning of the “hotspots” and the interplay between EU and national actors in different aspects of dealing with the large numbers of arrivals of asylum seekers and migrants in Europe. MEPs will meet with different institutions and stakeholders, as well as conduct on-site visits, with the aim to gain better insight in the situation on the ground. Other topics for discussion with local representatives are to include further search and rescue operations, disembarkation procedures and relocation.Heads of the delegation: Barbara Kudrycka (EPP, PL) and Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES).
Members: Branislav Škripek (ECR, SK), Jaromír Štetina (EPP, CZ), Miltiadis Kyrkos (S&D, EL) Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, SV), Morten Helveg Petersen (ALDE, DK), Alessandra Mussolini (EPP, IT), Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, IT) and Salvatore Domenico Pogliese (EPP, IT).

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Taking the ‘crisis’ out of migration: integration in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 marzo 2017

scuolaRisk of school segregation, discrimination and restrictions to political participation can form insurmountable barriers to the integration of migrants in EU society, as a new report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows. It examines integration strategies across the EU, providing clear evidence of the successes and failures of current policy and recommending changes in order to build a stronger and more cohesive Europe.“The migrants living in the EU are not part of a ‘crisis’, but an integral part of our society. We need a new narrative that stresses the benefits that migrants, their children and their children’s children bring to our societies,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “Integration is key to our security and to our democracy.”
There are some 20 million non-EU citizens living in the EU. Many have settled and started families. However, despite efforts from 2004 to follow common principles to guide and improve integration across the EU, Member States have widely different approaches to guide and improve integration and inclusion across the EU.The report Together in the EU: Promoting the participation of migrants and their descendants identifies and compares policies across the EU in areas important for successful integration. These include:
Education: Migrant pupils face some form of school segregation in around half of EU Member States, often despite efforts by the authorities to prevent it. This depicts a worrying reality of migrants and natives living in divided societies.
Youth: Fewer than half of Member States have action plans or strategies explicitly addressing youth with a migrant background, even though they can be important to avoid marginalisation, alienation and radicalisation.
Discrimination: 16 Member States do not protect migrants against discrimination on the basis of their nationality or status as migrant, refugee or foreigner, which can mask ethnic and racial discrimination.
Language: Few Member States provide courses to all residents with limited language proficiency, including citizens of migrant background. At the same time, language learning programmes are rarely linked to employment, and job-specific or on-the-job language training courses are uncommon.
As well as examining the national integration policies and strategies across the EU that determine the social and political participation of migrants and their descendants, the report also identifies examples of good practices that can be used or adapted for use in other national contexts.

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Refugees in Greece: Civil Liberties MEPs discussed the situation with Migration Minister Mouzalas

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 12 marzo 2017

cartina-grecia-centrale-atticaMEPs of the Civil Liberties Committee discussed on Thursday with Greek Minister of Migration, Ioannis Mouzalas, the situation of the refugee and migrant population in the country and the possible ways forward.Mr Mouzalas underlined that the living conditions of migrant and asylum-seekers in Greece have significantly improved in the last months, although the situation in the Aegean islands continues to be “difficult”. Special efforts are being made regarding unaccompanied minors, he added. The Minister complained about the “hypocrisy” of the EU institutions and other member states, for pointing their finger at Greece for the treatment of refugees while at the same not providing the help they committed. He welcomed the proposal by Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE) to make the relocation of asylum-seekers mandatory: “this is a good basis”, he said.
According to UNHCR data, around 46 000 migrants and asylum-seekers continue to be stranded in Greece. Conditions have been particularly dire during the winter in the islands, where there are still over 13 000 people.
EU countries agreed in 2015 to relocate 63 000 asylum-seekers from Greece to other member states over two years, but so far less than 10 000 persons have effectively been transferred.

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Migration, Integration, and European Values: High-level meeting with religious leaders at European Commission

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 2 dicembre 2016

meetingSenior Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Mormon leaders gathered for the 12th annual high-level meeting at the European Commission. Held at the invitation of European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, this gathering focused on “Migration, Integration, and European Values: Putting values into action.”Participants discussed a range of concerns relating to the global crises resulting in widespread migration to Europe, including the emergence of increasingly divisive public discourse about refugees, hospitality as an expression of faith, and how to best help newcomers make a positive contribution in society. Several speakers discussed the historical religious makeup of Europe, including the longstanding presence of Islam on the continent. The work of the 24 October CEC-COMECE-CCME dialogue seminar with the European Commission fed into preparations for this high-level meeting.On the topic of this gathering Timmermans noted with appreciation the “intensive debate on the challenges we face in trying to make a success of the integrations of newcomers to European society.” He noted that “migration will be an element of our present and our future” and encouraged the religious leaders in their work in sharing values, respecting differences and fostering mutual understanding without looking for assimilation.
Ján Figeľ, European Commission special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union highlighted the importance of the Middle East as a meeting place for three major world religions, “If there is peace we feel it, if there is genocide or war we all feel it.”
At a press conference following the event, representatives from the churches in Europe urged all to avoid the simplification of complex situations and to cultivate a welcoming culture for refugees following examples from Christian scripture and tradition. In light of the coming of Christmas and celebration of the Word made Flesh, they stressed that it is impossible to worship God without love of neighbour.
High-level meetings and working level discussions are held regularly between the European Commission and churches and religious associations and communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations. Since 2009 the dialogue with churches, religions, philosophical and non-confessional organisations is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. (photo: meeting)

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